Simulation of Nuclear Fuel Behavior in Accident Conditions With the DIONISIO Code

[+] Author and Article Information
Martín Lemes

Sección Códigos y Modelos,
Gerencia Ciclo del Combustible Nuclear,
Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica,
Avenida General Paz 1499,
San Martín,
Provincia de Buenos Aires 1650, Argentina
e-mail: lemes@cnea.gov.ar

Alicia Denis

Sección Códigos y Modelos,
Gerencia Ciclo del Combustible Nuclear,
Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica,
Avenida General Paz 1499,
San Martín,
Provincia de Buenos Aires 1650, Argentina
e-mail: denis@cnea.gov.ar

Alejandro Soba

Sección Códigos y Modelos,
Gerencia Ciclo del Combustible Nuclear,
Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica,
Avenida General Paz 1499,
San Martín,
Provincia de Buenos Aires 1650, Argentina
e-mail: soba@cnea.gov.ar

Manuscript received August 27, 2018; final manuscript received January 17, 2019; published online March 15, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Fidelma Di Lemma.This work was prepared while under employment by the Government of Argentina as part of the official duties of the author(s) indicated above, as such copyright is owned by that Government, which reserves its own copyright under national law.

ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci 5(2), 020903 (Mar 15, 2019) (11 pages) Paper No: NERS-18-1078; doi: 10.1115/1.4042705 History: Received August 27, 2018; Revised January 17, 2019

DIONISIO is a computer code designed to simulate the behavior of one nuclear fuel rod during its permanence within the reactor. Starting from the power history and the external conditions to which the rod is subjected, the code predicts all the meaningful variables of the system. Its application range has been recently extended to include accidental conditions, in particular the so-called loss of coolant accidents (LOCA). In order to make realistic predictions, the conditions in the rod environment have been taken into account since they represent the boundary conditions with which the differential equations describing the fuel phenomena are solved. Without going into the details of the thermal-hydraulic modeling, which is the task of the specific codes, a simplified description of the conditions in the cooling channel during a LOCA event has been developed and incorporated as a subroutine of DIONISIO. This has led to an improvement of the fuel behavior simulation, which is evidenced by the considerable number of comparisons with experiments carried out, many of them reported in this paper. Moreover, this work describes a model of high temperature capture and release of hydrogen in the nuclear fuel cladding, in scenarios typical of LOCA events. The corresponding computational model is being separately tested and will be next included in the DIONISIO thermal-hydraulic module.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

(a) A standard PWR fuel element and one rod, (b) fuel rod divided into a number of axial sectors, (c) system pellet-gap-cladding where the complete problem is solved, and (d) finite elements system nodalization where axial symmetry is assumed

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Fig. 2

Scheme of the accident module incorporated to DIONISIO. The relocation simulations will be incorporated in the near future.

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Fig. 3

Heat transfer coefficients corresponding to the five modes considered in the present analysis, according to the physical conditions operating in the ten axial rod sections

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Fig. 4

Comparison between measurements presented in Ref. [29] of hydrogen content in Zry-4 samples at different temperatures, simulations reported in Ref. [23] and predictions of the present hydrogen uptake model

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Fig. 5

Comparison between measurements presented in Ref. [29] of hydrogen content in samples of Zr–1%Nb at different temperatures, simulations reported in Ref. [23] and predictions of the present hydrogen uptake model

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Fig. 6

Hydrogen concentration in Zr–1%Nb experimentally determined by Frecska et al. [33] and predictions reported by Veshchunov et al. [21,23], and with the hydrogen uptake model presented in this work, (a) at 900 and 1000 °C and (b) at 1100 and 1200 °C

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Fig. 7

(a) Heating power and pressure (measured values and curve fitted by DIONISIO) and (b) comparison between calculated and measured cladding temperature at two axial positions versus time after accident occurrence in IFA 650-2. Predicted and measured ballooning and burst times as well as the scram are also indicated.

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Fig. 8

Comparison between calculated and measured internal rod pressure in IFA 650-2

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Fig. 9

Calculated and measured axial cladding elongation in IFA 650-2

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Fig. 10

Comparison between measured cladding temperature and the predictions of RELAP, ATHLET, and DIONISIO, also between measured coolant temperature and the prediction of DIONISIO; superimposed is the coolant pressure history referred to the right side scale

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Fig. 11

(a) Evolution of the internal pressure of rod 1 of QUENCH L0 test: experimental determination and numerical prediction with DIONISIO and (b) comparison between experimental and calculated results of time to burst for different rods

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Fig. 12

Experimental and predicted cladding temperature evolution in selected sectors of rod 4 of the QUENCH-L1 bundle experiment

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Fig. 13

Experimental and predicted hydrogen release in rod 4 of the QUENCH-L1 experiment: (a) instantaneous release rate and (b) accumulated amount of released hydrogen versus time



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